Spreading limbs is one of the constant, fiddly tasks in an orchard.
Some trees, notably pears, are much given to multiple, vertical branches that compete with each other. Spreading branches or using a line to pull them closer to 45 degrees from horizontal reduces their vegetative vigor, increases the sunlight they harvest. The net result is that they tip into fruiting much earlier and spreading greatly increase their lifetime fruiting potential.
Sometimes there is nothing to tie a line to. Then the orchardist needs to use some kind of spreading stick.
A simple, field expedient spreading stick can be fabricated on-the-spot by lashing two sticks together. One nice thing about this model is that the length of the stick can be custom fabricated simply by where you choose to put the second lashing.
|A close-up of the image shown above. This spreader works best when one of the sticks is not perfectly straight.|